Report: Lynx Targeting Vandersloot, Stevens in WNBA Free Agency

The Minnesota Lynx will meet with Chicago Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot after free agency opens on Saturday, according to a report from Howard Megdal of The Next.

Vandersloot, a four-time WNBA All-Star, joined the Lynx last season before returning to the Sky on a one-year deal with his wife, Allie Quigley, a Chicago native and DePaul alumna. Quigley’s decision to return to the Sky for another season in free agency last year was a big factor in Vandersloot’s decision.

After the Sky lost to the Connecticut Sun in Game 5 of the WNBA Semifinals last year, Quigley said she was unsure about her WNBA future, as it was rumored all season he was thinking of retiring after the season.

“I didn’t think it would end up like this or that I would have a job. It’s better to be able to work in Chicago with my family, to meet my wife, it’s unbelievable,” said Quigley, for ESPN. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Although Quigley has yet to announce his retirement, his candid postgame comments fueled speculation that 2022 could be his last. Because Vandersloot, Quigley, and former stars Candace Parker and Emma Meesseman — who spoke out against the league’s first-team rule taking effect this coming season — are representatives. They are free, it seems like this is a clean break.

Megdal added the Seattle Storm and New York Liberty among those interested in Vandersloot. The talented guard is a native of Kent, Wa., a suburb of Seattle, and starred at Gonzaga in college. Vandersloot’s future with the Liberty could be interesting considering he’ll be paired with All-Star point guard Sabrina Ionescu in New York’s backcourt, but if Ionescu moves off the ball, he could create a powerful force to be reckoned with.

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If the Lynx land Vandersloot, it will be a boost to the backcourt. Minnesota Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Cheryl Reeve is looking for a long-term replacement to please her since Hall of Fame inductee and Lynx legend Lindsay Whalen retired in 2018, but hasn’t been able to find one. suitable fit Vandersloot – who will be 34 on February 8 – may not reach Whalen’s eight years, but checks the boxes that Reeve needs in a goalkeeper.

Vandersloot averaged 11.8 points on 48.1/36.7/76.5 shooting, 6.5 assists in 2.7 turnovers, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and held an on-off of +12.7 in 26.5 minutes per game. in 32 matches, everything starts.

He is the top floor general guard in the free agency, and has the ability to run an organized offense through the ranks. stellar play and good decision making with the ball almost every time down the floor. If Sloot chooses Minnesota, we will see a full version of two-time All-Star forward Napheesa Collier raise the ceiling of an offense that struggled for so long without Collier last season.

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While Vandersloot, who is third on the WNBA’s all-time assist list (2,385), has been the heart of one of the league’s best offenses in recent years, she also wanted for coming at fixed times.

Lynx fans will fondly remember his buzzer-beating 3 to beat Minnesota last June.

It came in a big way in the 2021 WNBA Finals, which Chicago won after knocking out the Lynx in the first round.

Megdal also reveals that Lynx are looking for talented striker Azurá Stevens, one of Vandersloot’s teammates with the Sky. Stevens played with Collier at UCONN and has many of the skills Reeve is looking for at forward/center that can help reverse the impact that the legendary Sylvia Fowles made during her run in Minneapolis.

The five-year-old averaged 10.6 points on 47.2/36.2/74.4 shooting, 3.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.1 blocks and 0.5 steals in 21.9 minutes per game in 35 contests, eight of such beginnings.

At 6-foot-6, Stevens is a solid shooter with range from beyond the arc (36.2%) and a good shooting combination as well. He is solid from the elbows and the perimeter, and is also capable of rebounding. His height and wide range allow him to disrupt the flow of opposing offenses as an inside shooter and play in gaps to prevent passes.

When Fowles went down last season with a knee injury, Minnesota ran a reverse offense with bigs playing on the heels to take advantage of the top talents of Jess Shepard and Natalie Achonwa. . The Lynx may be able to do more if it provides more space for Collier to attack from all over. Stevens’ shooting and passing skills fit that system.

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The Next Stevens revealed the ‘small five,’ with the Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Sky and Indiana Fever joined the Lynx in the middle of that group, with the possibility of becoming a player for the Washington Mystics.

After playing behind Parker and Meesseman last season, Stevens could very well be — and understandably — looking for a chance to start. Minnesota may offer the clearest path to where to start, but it could also join the big All-Stars in LA or Connecticut (if they keep Nneka Ogwumike and Brionna Jones, respectively ), and solid young players NaLyssa Smith and the No. 1 overall pick. Aliyah Boston in Indiana.

No matter what happens in the next few days, it’s an exciting time as the Lynx enter a new era – and it can begin to unfold at 11 PM CT tonight.

You can keep tabs on the latest news about the Lynx in our 2023 WNBA Free Agency Tracker here before the negotiation window opens at 11 PM CT tonight.

For more Lynx chats, follow us on Twitter @canishoopus. You can follow Jack at @jrborman13.


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